Batman v Superman hit the theatres this week. Fanboys all over the world applauded the very idea of Batman and Superman coming together in the same frame. After all, it would finally answer the one question that popped up in thousands of fan conversations – Who’d beat whom in a fight?
While the film gives a definite answer to that question, sadly, it doesn’t go beyond that.
Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is angry and Batman is enraged. An alien fight between Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon) has destroyed his beloved Gotham and killed his near and dear ones. Bruce decides to take the battle to Superman. As Bat goes on an unearthing-the-truth spree, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) makes his appearance in Gotham, along with a mysterious lady whom we only know as Miss Prince (Gal Gadot).
While Batman detects around, Lex carries out a spurious deal with the authorities and gets his hands on the alien ship that was the flight of no return for General Zod from Man of Steel. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Batman v Superman is not just underwhelming in every compartment, decisions taken on various aspects of the film are bound to leave fans aghast and the casual viewer confused.
Why would the filmmakers pay the greatest of respects to a skirmish that ends even before it begins? Why does it lay to the side some of the greatest story arcs that ruled the DC Universe for decades? This film is the debut of more than five DC characters and all of them are a ‘by the way’ introduction.
The main culprit here is the script – it could well be picked up from any of the mid-afternoon cartoon episodes that featured DC’s most famous superheroes. Spicing it up using such major story arcs is just so confusing that one begins to question everything’s that’s happening on screen.
Where the movie does score is the performances. Cavill is impressive in his second outing as the Man of Steel. He succeeds in creating a humane side for the superhero. Affleck owns his outing as Batman is perfect for the older version of the World’s Greatest Detective. His camaraderie with Alfred – who still calls him ‘Master Bruce’ – makes up two or three of the six sequences that entertained.
Whatever the film achieves, it has finally found the celluloid Wonder Woman in Gadot. Standing out like a sore thumb is Eisenberg as the latest actor to become Lex Luthor.
We wonder why every other antagonist nowadays is a snappy, almost psychotic character. That character has been perfected, but done to death. At the end of it all, Batman v Superman is an underwhelming foundation for several other movies in the DC Universe, and the propelling point for the Justice League movie.
But then, we do believe in second chances, don’t we?
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